Broadcast TV over CAT6 Cable

On reflection it would have been a sensible idea to run some good-quality coaxial cable from the comms room to the likely locations of TVs around the house. While video transmission is definitely moving towards Internet streaming services you still get a more seamless viewing experience when you can provide a TV with a good aerial signal.

In particular, it was surprising to find that the ‘All 4’ catch-up app on Android TV needed to be enabled via the YouView setup process – which insists on seeing an aerial, albeit only temporarily.

There are two CAT6 cables running from the comms room to all the likely TV locations, so one of those provides a wired Internet connection and there’s a second one available for other purposes.

While the high frequencies of broadcast television present something of a challenge, using a pair of high quality baluns it’s perfectly feasible to distribute a TV aerial signal over 50 or so metres of CAT6 cable. MuxLab from Canada offer a range of baluns and their CATV units are rated up to 900MHz. They offer shielded and unshielded variants. In the UK they’re available from CPC Farnell and other similar distributors.

MuxLab Shielded CATV Baluns

It’s pretty much essential to use an amplifier to help offset the inevitable loss of signal strength. This one from Labgear works well.

Labgear LDA102R Signal Booster

Static Caravan is Sold

The static caravan which has been on site since 2014 is on the move. I was gearing up to advertise it more widely when word of mouth brought a buyer to my door. It will be removed from site within the next few days.

Its pale colour made the caravan quite obvious from Aston Lane (and Snelsmoor Lane) and its location meant it was more visible than the house when approaching the bend by the gate.

Static Caravan from Aston Lane

Once out of the trees, where the view widens up, it was clearly visible alongside the house.

Static caravan from Aston Lane

Closer up, it was more evident the outside was overdue for a good clean, though nothing a bit of pressure-washing can’t fix.

Static Caravan still in situ

These caravans might be called “mobile homes” but they’re only just mobile. They’re firmly optimised for staying in once place for years on end. It proved easy enough to roll it on its wheels across level ground but getting it onto a trailer needs a winch and unless the trailer is specially designed with a straight bed, the under-frame fouls the trailer before the wheels make contact with the ramp so there’s a lot of packing and jacking involved.

Static Caravan on trailer ready for transport